How has the pandemic changed you?

by | Mar 21, 2022 | Pandemic

Human beings are so awesomely adaptive we can sometimes fail to recognise how experience has shaped us. 

I know the experience of the pandemic has changed me indelibly, but in ways I am only just beginning to fathom. My adaptation to this new and often very frightening pandemic world, has been admirable. I’ve made the best of things. I’ve got on with it. The grin-and-bear-it messages of my childhood have acted like a soothing mantra.


But adaptability is a two-edged sword. You can very quickly get used to hellish circumstances and in the process, lose that part of you that should feel outraged enough to protest. But holding on to hurt – even hurt that could motivate change – is exhausting. I know that very soon, it will slip through my fingers, leaving a part of me feeling defeated.

I know that my little world has stayed intact in so many ways. I’ve been able to maintain a living. I have had enough to live on, a roof over my head and a partner with whom to share this bizarre and enervating experience. There’s been a hand to hold during the darkest times.


But too many of the ties that bind me to friends and family have loosened, in some cases, irretrievably so, each estrangement becomes a bereavement. So much have I lost. Connections die without the concerted efforts of kith-and-kin-making and the places and services – pubs, clubs, cafes – we need to maintain those connections. The life-saving requirement to estrange ourselves from each other has been life-threatening to our social selves. Without the social soothing of others, we became increasingly estranged from ourselves.

I’ve maintained good health and so far, I have not contracted the virus though now our Government seems to have unofficially declared the pandemic ‘over’ I guess it’s only a matter of time. Since I’m often the only person wearing a mask in public, the point of doing so (to protect others) seems increasingly futile. I sometimes think my mask-wearing is the only form my protest can take in the face of Government-endorsed complacency and disregard for public health, especially of the most vulnerable.


As I mark the Spring Equinox (with a walk around my garden, noticing buds and blossom, and nearly bumping into a low-flying bee) a time of year I contemplate as a new beginning, I feel a little smaller, more fragile, less sure of my environment, more conscious than ever of my human frailty.

The pandemic has merged into the background of our public and social lives, is now largely unacknowledged so the anxiety it has triggered seems to us to be inexplicable. ‘Why am I feeling like this now that things are back to normal?’

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to take extra care to notice how this pandemic has shaped me, how it has hurt me and challenged me and I’m going to give myself time to mourn the pre-pandemic person I was and acquaint myself to this less gleeful, confident version


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